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Us 11, Obama 7, David Petraeus 7, Msnbc 7, Washington 7, America 6, Craig 6, Clinton 5, Virginia 5, Barack Obama 4, John Harwood 4, U.s. 3, Petraeus 3, California 3, Paula Broadwell 3, John Boehner 3, Cnbc 2, Fbi 2, Heather Smith 2, Duval Patrick 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    November 10, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm EST  

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or our hearty crab and roasted garlic seafood bake. [ forsythe ] if i wouldn't put it on my table at home, i wouldn't bring it in. my name's jon forsythe, and i sea food differently. good saturday afternoon to you. i'm craig melvin. you are watching msnbc, the place for politics. four days after the election, and there is big news from florida on this saturday. nbc news now calling the state for president obama. that puts 29 electoral votes in the president's column. that gives him a final count of 332 electoral votes. governor romney 206 electoral votes. more on that in a few moments. major news from the nation's highest court today. the justices of the supreme court said they will consider the racially charged issue of whether to scale back the historic voting rights act. more on this now from nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: craig, this is
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shaping up to be the most important supreme court term in decades for civil rights. the justices are already looking at affirmative action and college admissions. now they've agreed to consider whether to gut the landmark voting rights law. here is the question simply stated. has racial discrimination in the south diminished to the point that a key part of the voting rights act passed 47 years ago is no longer needed to assure access to the ballot box and to give minority candidates a fair shot at getting elected? >> well r-- >> reporter: and renewed four times since then. most recently in 2006, signed by president george w. bush. but with an african-american in the white house and more minorities in congress and state houses, challengers say it's outdated. >> this is based on criteria that came from the 1964 presidential election. it's 40 what, 48 years old, 47, 48 years old. and the south has changed in
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that 48 years. it's not current. it's not relevant anymore. >> reporter: it requires states with a history of discrimination at the polls to get federal permission before making any changes in how they conduct elections, no matter how small. the law applies to all of nine states, mostly in the south, and parts of seven others. nationwide, some 12,000 cities, counties, and other units of government. ruling on a challenge to the law three years ago, the supreme court sent a warning to congress that it needed updating. the new challenge comes from shelby county, alabama, which includes part of birmingham. some of its proposed election changes have been blocked. but civil liberties groups say discrimination lives on in new forms in most of the areas covered by the law. >> what we have seen in certain parts of the country is the effort to block or dilute the vote of minority voters has been more persistent and adaptive. >> reporter: the fact that the court has agreed to hear this case is a sign that the conservative majority may be prepared to strike this law down, or at least to gut it
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considerably. craig? >> pete williams there in d.c. for us, pete. thanks to you. let's bring in nationally syndicated radio talk show host michael and cnbc contributor and former democratic governor of virginia, doug wilder. good afternoon to both of you gentlemen. governor, i'm going to start with you. let's pick up right where we left off on the supreme court agreeing to hear this voting rights case as the nation's first black governor since reconstruction. what is your reaction to the news from the high court? >> well, i was the first elected black governor. >> that's important distinction. >> and that's why i thought it a distinction to particularly since we're talking about the voting rights act. i'm tremendously disappointed that they have agreed to do this. i'm not surprised because they've hinted, as you pointed out that, that they were going to look at it. is the time to remove it? no. what is the rush for removing? when you hear these people say, well, there is no need to have it now.
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and it's burdensome. burdensome on who? onerous on whom? when you consider the history of particularly here in virginia, when you had the poll tax, when you had blank paper registration, people being asked to recite articles of the constitution and amendments to the constitution before they were entitled to vote, charging them to vote, purging them, not allowing people with felonies to vote, when you still had all of those, some of those vestiges remaining, let's keep the voting rights act as it is. i'm concerned, though, because if it does change, it will affect the numbers of persons not only elected, but possibly being able to be in control of many of these districts that are presently in place in congress. >> governor, really quickly, mike, i want to bring you in just a second, while i have you governor, really quickly, you were somewhat critical of president obama in his first term. you told the washington examiner that he didn't focus enough on
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jobs, that he didn't focus enough on economic recovery. do you think that the president is going to spend more time on that in his second term? >> i don't have any doubt that he will. it's a matter now of -- and this is one of the reasons that i said i want to vote for the president because i want to see him fulfill his dream. i want to see him go forward with what he has promised. one of the best speeches he ever made was to the u.s. conference of mayors in 2008 and which he spoke of infrastructure improvement. look at the storm that hit the northeast. look how we could put those grid lines under ground. look at the jobs it would create. but look how it would really be improving our infrastructure in our decaying cities and some of the newer cities as well. i think the president is going to do that. i think more importantly, when you speak about this voting rights act, the president has a responsibility to, and i'm certain he will be certain to move on with the appointment and the nomination of these federal judges. >> michael, it seems the race
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for 2016 already under way. some have mentioned paul ryan as well. you have marco rubio heading to iowa next week. you also have the gop governors meeting in vegas next week. new jersey's chris christie expected to be there. who would you say is the current front-runner for the 2016 republican nomination? >> on the republican side, i think it's very convoluted. you know, it might be a jeb bush if he decides to assert himself and get into this. i think it's a far clear picture on the democratic side of the aisle. and i would say it's secretary clinton. and i would point out that president clinton sure did collect a lot of ious in the final couple of weeks of that campaign. >> that's a good point. you mentioned hillary clinton. a lot of folks have indicated that america's happy warrior, joe biden as well, he could be in this thing. andrew cuomo, that name pops up on a lot of lists. >> it does. and i don't think that there is really a clear definition on either side of the aisle. but one thing is self-evident
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after what happened on tuesday, and that is that the gop needs to focus on its nomination process. because if nothing changes, and if they still have this exodus of independent thinkers from the party and are left with a very conservative base, a base that turns out in primary elections as well as caucuses, then you're going to have a nomination of a conservative candidate who could never win a general election. >> governor wilder, let's talk about your state really quickly here. the commonwealth went for the president again this time around by a larger margin than it did four years ago. tim kaine has become the senator there in virginia. is virginia no longer a purple state? is it a blue state now? >> it is up for grabs at every election. more people think independently. they're not hide bound to either party. i would not call it purple. i wouldn't call it red, nor would i call it blue. and they love that.
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and i think without proximity to the nation's capital, we should be. let me say i agree with michael on several things. first of all, i think hillary is really going to be a front-runner. i think the republicans, unless they change their nominating process, unless they understand they're captives to the tea party, they'll lose elections. they need to learn from democrats what we did once we got opportunities. we drove some people out early on, right after the mcgovern campaign. but then we learned listen, we've got to be more centrist, and we were, and we began winning. >> michael, it's always good to see you. governor wilder, especially good to see you. >> my pleasure. >> and might i say, governor, you look good. you sound great. >> you're mighty kind. very good. thank you so much. >> take care, guys. new details today and more questions as well surrounding the stunning resignation of general david petraeus. u.s. officials now telling nbc news that e-mails between general petraeus and paula
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broadwell were in fact indicative of an extramarital affair. broadwell the biographer who had writer a book. joining me john harwood, chief washington correspondent for cnbc. good to see you. >> hey, craig. >> what do we know at this point about the fbi investigation? >> well, not all that much. but what we do know is that the investigation began into e-mails that paula broadwell was sending to another woman. so it started away from petraeus, and then led to petraeus because of the nature of his exchanges with paula broadwell. don't know whether that fbi investigation is going to produce a prosecution or anything further. but that's how it appears to have started. it doesn't appear that this has anything to do with other extraneous issues that people have talked about, benghazi or any big geopolitical thing. it seems to be extremely personal. >> what has been the reaction from the white house? and what are you hearing from
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people on the hill? >> well, i think everybody is disappointed. you know, dianne feinstein, veteran democrat from california just reelected herself the other night, a veteran of the intelligence committee said she wished that president obama had not accepted petraeus' resignation, that he didn't need to leave office for an indiscretion of that kind. the president didn't immediately accept it, but ultimately he gave in to the logic that petraeus himself was emphasizing, which is it simply wasn't tenable for him to stay in the job having done what he did. and i think everybody is disappointed because petraeus's talents are recognized by people in both parties and have been for years. but he is -- he is paying a very, very stiff price for the mistake that he made. and the white house is simply going to have to roll with that. >> and there are a lot of folks, john harwood, this afternoon, especially out there on twitter and the blogosphere who are raising questions about all of this happening so close to the time he was set to testify next
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week, that closed door meeting on the hill regarding benghazi. >> everything we know about this so far is that is simply the speculation. and with the touch of paranoia by people who have been flogging this benghazi issue. there is no reason to think that that has anything to do with what caused david petraeus to leave. >> thank you so much. john harwood, cnbc white house correspondent. thank you, thank you, thank you. we should note here, as we did our last hour as well, that the general is not under any sort of -- there is no criminal investigation that is under way. and they do not expect that their inquiry will result in criminal charges. i wanted to make sure we got that in there. right now i do want to bring in thomas rick, senior fellow at the center for new american security. latest book title "the generals: american military command from world war ii to today." among those generals, of course,
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david petraeus. also contributing editor for foreign policy as well. thomas, thank you so much for coming in. you write today that a source told you that president obama tried to talk general petraeus out of resigning. we just heard the same thing from john harwood as well. tell me what you're hearing. >> well, first of all, there aren't going to be any criminal charges in this. this is really a tempest in a teapot. the sad thing is general petraeus is probably the most famous general we've had since world war ii. here is a guy who did a terrific job in both iraq and then had a harder time, but still served well in afghanistan. the idea that somebody would be out in the desert for six and a half years and slips somehow with a personal indiscretion, what we approved here is the david petraeus is a human being. i think it also says a lot more about us as a country than it does about david petraeus. in world war ii, if we held dwight eisenhower to this standard, he would have been fired. matthew ridgway, another great general, in the korean war, he
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got a new wife for every war. he had affairs all over the place. so this is a new standard that is being applied somehow. i just wish, what i say in the book is don't fire people for personal indiscretions for what the military calls zipper problems. fire them for not being good at their jobs. that's the standard. >> here is what we're hearing, thomas. he wasn't fired. he resigned. >> exactly. >> why did he resign? >> i think out of a deep sense of personal disgrace, a personal honor that he had done the wrong thing, and now in a kind of samurai warrior-like way, he had to correct it. i think president obama should have said hey, fellow, you slipped up. david petraeus, guess what, you're a human being. now get back to work. i think that would have been the more presidential thing to do. >> what is the impact on all of this in the intelligence community and the military? >> david petraeus was always kind of an outlier in the military. the army didn't like him. they always seemed to sort of
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being someone different from typical army generals. and i think this will simply sort of result in a lot of tongue-wagging and head shaking in the military. i think petraeus was very interested in working there, and having this sort of quick turnover is not good for them either. >> thomas ricks, contributing editor, foreign policy magazine. thank you so much for your time this afternoon. >> you're welcome. still to come, many have tried. many have failed to woo them. but in this election, the youth vote may have proved to be a key to victory. up next, though, we go inside the mind of president barack obama from one of the men who knows him really well. wrote the book on him. you're watching msnbc. don't go anywhere. ♪ i needed someone to feed, i guess you're just what i needed ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the way it moves.
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president obama's election victory came despite high unemployment, a sluggish economy, and powerful pro romney superpacs. now comes the hard part for the president, getting past what some call that second term curse. joined by "washington post" editor, pulitzer prize winner david marinis. good afternoon to you, sir. >> great to be with you, craig. >> you write in some detail about precisely how the president spent election day and election night. we know he played basketball. we just heard a few moments ago from one of the guys he played with. >> that's right. >> how confident was the president when the tallies started to come in? >> well, he was very confident in his staff, was remarkable.
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and they were telling him that everything was solid. so there is always a minor, you know, fear in the back of your head. but he knew he was going to win. >> one of the criticisms of the president's campaign at least was that it lacked details of his goals and how he planned to achieve them. did the voters wednesday morning actually come away knowing the president's agenda for a second term, the you think? >> well, he described three major things that he wants to do. and, you know, there is this one very important forgotten part of this whole thing which is that his reelection affirms his health care reform. and that is really not taken place yet. so that over the next year, we will see this massive really important measure becoming implemented in a way that people will now know that that is going to happen. or they knew it wouldn't happen probably in the same way if romney had been elected. that's a key thing that really
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hasn't been talked about enough in terms of his second term. it was talked about in the first term but it becomes a reality now. >> you referred to this in the article that you wrote. do you think that a decade from now the president will look back on the kind of campaign that he ran? and do you think that he will be at all embarrassed that by and large, it was not a campaign of big ideas? >> no, i don't think he will at all. i think campaigns are largely forgotten. it's what he does now that counts. it was a small campaign, and it was $2 billion. and, you know, in every possible respect, it was a pretty ugly endeavor. but that's not really what matters. what matters is what happens once he is president. so i think it's possible that he'll look back on his second term and have regrets because you never know what is coming. i mean as even the resignation of david petraeus shows, you can't predict two days later what a president is going to
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face what is coming next there are so many obstacles that he doesn't even know about that he'll have the face. but i think the campaign itself will be very far receded into the background. >> another criticism from inside the beltway has been the president's approach to governing to a certain extent. he is not a schmoozer. he is not a back slapper. he doesn't like to play golf with members of the opposition party. do you think that we might see a different approach in his second term, or do you think that's just who barack obama is? >> well, who barack obama is someone who is very uncomfortable being -- trying to be someone he is not. you know, i often said of bill clinton that he was the most brilliant authentic phony i had ever studied. he could go in any room and sort of be right there. and barack obama isn't as good of an actor in that sense. but once he becomes comfortable in a situation, he has the capacity to adapt and change. and so i honestly think that you will see more of that in the second term, but in a way that
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he feels comfortable with. >> after that now infamous first debate, how was the obama campaign able to shift the momentum? >> well, you know, he was responsible for the problems with that first debate. and to a certain degree, although the second and third debates were less watched and less important, he recovered in that sense. but they knew all along that they had a lot of other things going for them. and they had done enormous work early on in the campaign to shape the public's perception of mitt romney. that held to a large degree. and then on the back end, they had this, you know, amazing ground game campaign at the end. but i think that, you know, i think that as important and as wonderful as that ground game was in terms of pure politics, that it's the candidate himself in the end who makes the difference. and barack obama had just enough to get through. >> david maraniss, obama biographer, pulitzer prize
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winner. thank you so much for your time this afternoon. >> okay, craig, thank you. one of the big challenges facing president obama right now, replacing some key members of his cabinet, including secretary of state hillary clinton. plus, they came that. >> saw, they voted. don't underestimate the youth vote. had a bigger showing than a lot of us expected. and they have expectations as well. the youth of america coming up next. you're watching msnbc.
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well, the youth vote was crucial for president obama's election victory. the president won the votes of 18 to 29-year-olds by a margin of 67% to 37%. so how will young voters wield their power? joining me heather smith, president of rock the vote, and matthew siegle, co-founder and president of our time, a group representing the interests of young americans. good afternoon to both of you. >> good afternoon. >> the youth vote was especially important in critical
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battleground states. this is according to a think tank here. ohio, florida, virginia. they would have flipped from obama to romney without the support of young voters. at least 80 electoral votes depended on young americans. matt, how can young voters translate their power at the ballot box to power in the halls of washington? >> well, i think that's a great question. and for one, we need to realize that there is a lot more than just voting, and that by all means, the real work begins now both in reading the news and understanding how it affects our life. but secondly, in making sure our politicians understand that we're a formidable voting bloc. we're 19% of the electorate now. we're getting larger each election, bigger than '08, bigger than '04. and if they don't pay attention to us, it's at their own peril. it's at their own consequence. >> yeah, but are they a reliable voting bloc? because we all know that young voters are wild about president obama. but four years from now when
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there is no president obama on the ballot, what happens to the young voters? >> well, i actually think that young people are not contingent upon a particular candidate and whether we show up. we showed up in 2004 for kerry/bush as well. i think the real reason young people are showing up is for one there is better outreach this election. go, there are many important ballot initiatives like prop 30 in california, a lot of the marijuana legalization matters, a lot of the same-sex marriage issues. obviously the dream act in the state of maryland there are issues people care about. we're not completely stuck on a particular candidate who we need just to inspire us to turn out. we realize that there is a stake. we have the greatest stake, if you look at the unemployment rate, if you look at the fact that we're inheriting the debt. if you look at the fact that we have all this college and student loan debt. clearly good reasons there, craig. >> heather, president obama has said that he is not going to ask students and seniors of middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while folks who
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make over $250,000 enjoy nice tax cuts. what do we know about young voters and how they feel about the tax burden? >> well, for young people, the number one issue that we saw in 2004 in 2008, and again in 2012 was the economy. and for young people that means a number of things. it means finding a good job that pays high enough wages so they can take care of themselves, their families. but it also means affording college. you know, young people today who are leaving college are facing on average $25,000 worth of debt. and that means making sure that they have an affordable path forward as they -- as matt was explaining to share the greatest kind of brunt today in their unemployment numbers. but also in a future that they're inheriting. so these young people care a ton. they showed up again. and, you know, they'll be paying attention to how our economic situation is fixed. >> young voters have been skewing more toward democratic candidates over the past cycles.
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i want to put some numbers on the screen, 2004 al gore 48%, mr. obama there, 60%. the president had 60%. governor romney had 37%. matt, what can republicans do to reconnect with young americans in this country? >> well, for one, the party has got to evolve on social issues. like i said earlier with the ballot initiatives, by a margin of over 60%, young people support same-sex marriage, marijuana legalization and two, they have to recognize that our generation is actual lay diverse one. states like california are now majority minority states. and until they realize that, they're going to have to message and go after younger people and realize that the landscape of the electorate is changing from an image perspective. and three, they have to actually trust science and facts. global warming is a real issue. the bls statistics are real data. and the fact that we debate that there are two sides to facts all the time and we don't necessarily look at them.
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look at the statements about rape and the women's bodies reaction to it. it's ridiculous to the average young people. we're a pragmatic generation. we look at facts and data, and that governs our electoral distinct decisions. >> heather smith from rock the vote, matthew siegle from our time. he says he'll stand by a refusal to raise tax rates. but will house speaker john boehner be forced to cave in to avoid the fiscal cliff? our brain trust will weigh in on that and a whole lot more. plus, he was once talked about it as a possible presidential candidate? could general david petraeus, could he rebound from his resignation to make a political comeback one day? we'll talk about that. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. with something? nope! good talk. [ male announcer ] or free windows 8 training when you buy a computer at staples. another way staples makes it easier to upgrade.
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welcome back. i'm craig melvin. here is a look at some of the top stories making news on this saturday. new york mayor michael bloomberg says the city will start deploying contractors this week to quickly repair homes damaged by hurricane sandy. bloomberg said that fema will
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foot most, if not all of the bill for the program. meanwhile, protesters are taking to the streets in long island, where almost 200,000 are still without electricity. residents and lawmakers say they are fed up with what they say is a lack of action by the local utility to restore power there. and 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck eastern kentucky today. it happened around noon near the town of whitesburg. this are reports that the quake itself was felt as far away as cincinnati and atlanta. at this point there have been no reports of damage or significant injuries. turning back to politics now. the president is hosting congressional leaders this coming friday at the white house. the gel of that sit-down is to make some progress on efforts to steer america away from the so-called fiscal cliff. a $600 billion set of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that if left unaddressed according to the congressional budget office will hurl the country back into recession.
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let's take the conversation to the brain trust. joining me now on set we should note here, political analyst and author bloomberg view columnist jonathan alter from d.c. john staten. john, good to see you. and here in the studio, u.s. news and world report opinion columnist boyce epstein. good afternoon to all of you. let's get right to it. john, let's start with you. you're the elder statesman. >> thanks a lot! >> no, it's good, in a good way. the fiscal cliff. what are we looking at? and how do you think it's going to play out? >> well, first of all, it's not like we fall off a cliff on january 2nd. you know, it's a nice metaphor that is not exactly the way things work. if people are paying at a higher tax bracket, that's not even reflected in their paychecks, which reflect the payroll tax. it wouldn't be until april 15th or people paying quarterly might pay sooner.
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but this is going to be resolved. that's the most important thing that people need to understand. elections have consequences. the voters sent a strong message they want compromise and bipartisanship. any republican who doesn't get that message is what i call a kr. >> a kr? >> a kamikaze republican. we talked earlier about rhinos, republicans in name only, which is what the conservatives would call the moderates. now the moderates, they have some pretty powerful ammunition. they can say to the grover norquists of the world, to say oh, know, we're never going to allow any tax increases on people like me and you, you're a kamikaze republican. you're taking us over the edge. you're going to destroy our political party unless you get with the program and compromise. and i believe that message will sink through. >> you buy that? we've got the same players coming to the table again this time. same folks on the debt ceiling crisis, the president, john boehner. john boehner this week revealing
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to a lot of folks that he is the most reasonable man in washington, d.c. what do you think? how do you think this thing plays out? >> i've actually long thought that boehner is very reasonable, and if given the opportunity wants to come to the table and resolve the issue. and now the election does give him the opportunity. it gives him something when he goes to his caucus saying listen, you are absolutely right, and you have your chance to speak. but you're not going to drive the party's identity. you're not going to drive the message. and i as the leader of the party in the house now can be able to go to the white house and make a deal. there is going to be a deal struck. you're absolutely right. and this will be a story for a while. then they come together and get it out of here. we'll start talking about something else because we as republicans need to talk about something else. the fiscal cliff is not making the republicans any more popular. and right now what do we need? we need to broaden the base and become more popular. >> john, let me bring you in here. the other big story, of course, general david petraeus resigning
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over what he openly admits was an extramarital affair. is his rep damaged beyond repair by all of this? or do you think at some point we see david petraeus again? >> i don't know that it did permanently damage his reputation and certainly damages his ability to obviously run the cia. i think it may end up sort of torpedoing any notions he had about running for president or something like that. but you know, he is a very popular figure. once sort of the brouhaha around this thing dies down a little bit and people come to terms of the fact that he is a human and it happened, i don't know that it will permanently damage him. he will probably resurface at some point. but i don't think you'll see him as a presidential candidate, which i think a lot of people had thought he might run in one of the two parties. >> how spried were you guys by this resignation? again, as representative king indicated around 2:00, and we heard from other guests a short time ago, men cheating on their wives in washington, d.c. is not a headline. men resigning because they had been caught cheating also somewhat uncommon.
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what do you think happened here? >> i was surprised. i was surprised not only because this is somebody who is so widely respect aid crotts the political spectrum, someone who is now a republican serving in obama's administration, but also because of the timing. we're looking at two days after the election. obviously the information has been out there for a while and you could have made that decision. obviously he held on to it in order not to polythe new psych form president. as far as a comeback, i don't think that's in the cards for general petraeus politically. it could be there militarily, but not politically. >> maybe in the state department or something. >> right. >> when i was working on my earlier book about president obama, i called up general petraeus and confronted him with some of these rumors, because the white house in 2009 was concerned that he might be a republican candidate for president. that was a real concern. and i called him up. >> you said rumors. wait a minute. political resume. >> no, no, not those rumors. >> got you. >> he said what part of no don't you guys understand. i am not interested in politics.
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he was extraordinarily shermanesque as they say going back to general william tecumseh sherman. as far as the indiscretion go, yes, it is common in washington. the problem is when you connect it to the cia. if you have a secret when you're in the cia that you haven't told them about before, you're fired. because you're subject to blackmail. that's the way it works for his underlings. even though there is no evidence he has been blackmail order was at risk of being blackmailed, because his underlings have to live in that kind of universe, where you're fired if you cover up a secret, he had to go. and he understood that. and i don't think the president fired him. i think he understood he had to go. >> we're going to take a quick break here. you mentioned your book here the promise on the president's first year. also, is there room for mitt romney at the president's table? some have said this. we're not making this up. we'll talk about that as well. this is msnbc, the place for
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another major issue in the president's agenda concerns housekeeping, of course. several key players in his cabinet are leaving. some are staying. the question is how might these staff changes affect this second term. back now our brain trust jonathan at err, boyce especialepstein. how do you expect that the president's second first year will be different from his first? >> well, first of all, he is not going to be trying to prevent another great depression. we forget how all-consuming it was just to keep us from going over the waterfall. you know, they found out that the economy in the fourth quarter of 2008, right before he came in, it declined by close to 9%, which is the most on record.
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that is a true parachute drop, or faster than a parachute. so he had to arrest that decline. and that consumed everything. so now he is not facing that kind of crisis. but things -- things do come out of the blue. i think he'll be able to work on a lot of things that were seen as a distraction from the economy or a distraction from health care reform, which became the other all-consuming issue of his first year. so you'll see on a variety of smaller issues, you'll see him taking initiatives in ways that i think make his base happy but not happy enough. because now there is nothing blocking them from saying he is not being progressive enough for their tastes. >> we understand that massachusetts governor duval patrick headed to the white house for dinner with the president on friday. there has been some talk that he may be on the short list to replace eric holder as attorney general. does that make sense to you? >> on one end, i think it does. he is a very popular governor.
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he is very popular nationally. from what we've been told, he very much wants that job, and he was definitely making the pitch at dinner. the problem that he is going to have, though, frankly, if john kerry were to good over to state department, as appears likely, a lot of folks, particularly within the senate would like to see him run for the senate. they would like to bring him in. it helps with showing sort of the diversity gap between themselves and the gop, which i think harry reid is very eager to demonstrate. and he is really the only person right now in the state that could beat scott brown in a special election. none of the house members really have the name id or the sort of the juice to do it. so he is really the one. >> who else do you think, boyce? who else do you think goes? who comes? >> i think the most interesting one is state, what is going to happen. hillary clinton is obviously out. is it going to be kerry? if it is kerry, you have to look at the state of massachusetts. duval patrick would appoint himself. and there would be an election.
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to me that's just as important. i thought janet napolitano is someone who is at the top of the list. but she is someone who is considered to be pretty partisan. from the republican ranks, i suspect just like he did last time around, the president is going to look at the republican ranks and consider who he can bring in. last time gates stayed over. john greg was offered a position. i think you're going to see something like that happen. but it won't be mitt romney in the cabinet. >> not in the cabinet. but mitt romney, i say may play more of a role than people realize because he is perfectly positioned to sell a deal to the business community. >> okay. >> if he can be brought aboard a deal that the president strikes, especially if it includes as any deal he agrees to will tax increases for the wealthy, and then he helps go out in the name of doing something for the country and sell that to the business community, i believe that's why the president wants to meet with him there is precedent for presidents using
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defeated opponents in one fashion or another. but it will be an nfl, wendell wilkie. >> you mentioned wendell wilkie died shortly thereafter. >> i also think he might use bill clinton as an ambassador to the left. >> he definitely will. >> coming up, america's shades of red and blue. are they deeper or more muted since we first met then senator obama back in 2004. i'll put that question to our brain trust on the other side of this break. don't go anywhere. this is msnbc. ♪ [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
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the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states. red states for republicans. and reremain more than a collection of red states and blue states.
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we are and forever will be the united states of america. >> two historic and very similar speeches. the first from senator barack obama. the second from a president. one more time back to the brain trust. john alter, boris epshteyn, john stanton. are we any less or red and blue america since we first met barack obama in 2004? >> i would say yes. i think particularly on social issues, if you look at what happened with guy marriage, this last week, some of the drug legalization things, obviously the country on social issues is starting to move towards the left, i think. but if you look at the house of representatives, it's still controlled by republicans. and while some of that can be written off as part of the -- >> gerrymandering. >> right. still a lot of that shows that on fiscal issues, we are still a pretty conservative country. and i think we're starting to see sort of the real purple i guess color of the country show through a little bit now. >> are we, boys? barring a few states, it does
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seem to me that most of the states are pretty well decided before we get to the first tuesday in november. >> which i think is very unfortunate. especially in an election we just saw where the economy is the number one issue over archingly. i believe we as republicans would have done better had we stayed away from the social issues, the issues that do really divide the red and the blue. if we as republicans decided we are here for three things -- small government, low taxes and national security, we would be getting toward that bipartisanship level and attracting more from the whole spectrum. so do i hope so? yes. are we less red and blue? on some issues like social, yes. on the economy, not necessarily. >> you look pained. >> not pained. my friend boris here, i think the republican party, they will come back. there is nothing permanent in american politics. >> sure. >> but they are really behind the eight-ball. what they're selling, people ain't buying. they're not buying it on the social issues. and they're not buying on austerity budget and a small
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government agenda either. that was rejected by the american public. it worked in the red states. it was rejected in the only -- >> roundly. >> in the only real referendum that we have. it got at best 47%. it's not good enough. you're shy of a majority. >> 47% was not good enough. >> you have to change your message. by the way, this idea of a strong national defense, that's ronald reagan. it was great in the '80s. people are ready to cut defense now. we work on problems at home. your whole message is in trouble. that's the problem. >> it wasn't good enough in this election. but 47% is a pretty good base to build on. >> not good enough. >> we take other social issues. >> john, really quickly here, i want to bring you back in here before we have to get out of here. is it simply the message? is it simply the republican party message or is the problem deeper than that? >> i think it's a little bit of both, frankly. some of the messaging has gotten lost in the social issues. the party does focus on those
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things. to its detriment sometimes. they have votes on it. and it does start to divide people. i think a lot of the republicans are starting to look at that, those issues and even if we believe in them, even if we believe, we're not for guy marriage or we want to talk about abortion, first we need to talk about the things that both sides can at least have some agreement on. and i think you're going to start to see more and more of that, even from very conservative members of the house and senate. i think you're going to start seeing them do that more. >> one thing is for sure, four years from now when there is no president, barack obama on the ticket, the democrats will -- they'll have a different face, and it will be very interesting to see the kind of face that republicans put forward as well. john alter, boris epshteyn, john stanton down this in d.c., a big thanks to all of you gentlemen. thank you so much for spending so much of your saturday afternoon with us. and that does it for us today. join us tomorrow, 3:00 eastern for more on the latest political news. and don't forget, of course to catch meet the press tomorrow on nbc tomorrow morning. we will reair it here on msnbc 2:00 tomorrow afternoon.
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